A SHELL, the escarpment or a wave – that’s the choice facing residents wanting to have their say on the design of the contentious $57million Shellharbour City Hub complex.
Architects appointed to the project presented the three concept designs yesterday.
Designs by architects from DesignInc and Lacoste + Stevenson form the basis for a Shellharbour City Council community engagement program beginning today.
The proposal includes administration offices, council chambers, library, museum and civic auditorium, set for completion in December 2016.
The hub – which council staff recently reported was affordable – is to be funded by developer contributions, asset sales and loans.
Each design is within the overall project budget of $57million.
Their names reflect elements of their shape – shell, escarpment and wave.
The designs each have the civic square at the highest point of the site.
The community buildings are incorporated into the main square and street frontages to provide a street presence and ‘‘activate the public meeting space’’.
They each support 100 on-site car parking spaces, and 67 in an expansion of the Gadu Lane car park, opposite the site.
DesignInc project director Richard Does said the schemes shared some common features.
‘‘They’ve got the same square metreage per space, the same sort of auditorium space, the council chambers, the admin building; all are very similar in floor area,’’ he said.
Mr Does said there was the possibility of a ‘‘mix and match’’ of certain elements of the respective designs, depending on feedback.
‘‘We’ve got three different plaza landscape designs, and that can be swapped between the different schemes,’’ he said.
‘‘The shell and the wave have similar administration building position and design, but the library and the auditoriums are in different locations.
‘‘One of the interesting things about the wave scheme is that as the roof dips down, we can create a rooftop viewing platform for having an outlook over the riparian zone, the green space, and the escarpment.’’
Hub critic Cr Kellie Marsh previously called for a hub referendum, backed by Barrack Point’s Harry Gooden from the project’s community reference group, in response to community concerns.
Mayor Marianne Saliba rejected the suggestion.
‘‘If we had a referendum every time we had to make a decision based on money, we would never get any work done,’’ she said.
‘‘There are a small group of people who continue to perpetuate misinformation in relation to the hub.’’
Visit Shellharbour council’s website for information on kiosks and the online survey.